Caesar III


Welcome to the Roman Empire

Congratulations, citizen! Caesar has approved your application to enter the Empire's government. The Emperor is eager to expand his settlements and reward citizens who can implement his will. The Roman Empire is so vast, and growing so rapidly, that even our divine Caesar cannot hope to rule it alone. He needs capable provincial governors, and that is where you come in.
Caesar appointed me, Pius Perplexus, to teach you the skills of governing. Your scribe, Clarus Lucidus, will add notes as we go along. My main interest is in teaching you what you should do, and why you should do it. When Clarus thinks you need information about how to do whatever I am discussing at the time, he adds his comments in obvious sections called "Scribe's Notes."
Your goal is to build a thriving Roman city. Caesar III has two "styles" of play: The Career Game and the City Construction Kit. In a Career, Caesar rewards success with promotions and more challenging assignments. All new governors begin their careers with the same sequence of two assignments. After you complete them, Caesar lets you choose between accepting a "peaceful" or a "dangerous" new assignment each time you earn a promotion. As long as you continue to meet Caesar's ever escalating expectations, you win by becoming Rome's next Emperor.
If the second style of play, the City Construction Kit, is more to your liking, you can ignore the Emperor and set your own goals. There is no "winning" in the Construction Kit, beyond satisfying whatever objectives you set for yourself. You can lose either type of game if you fall very much out of Caesar's favor. The Favor rating, which measures Caesar's current opinion of you, is affected by your performance – especially your handling of your province's funds. Don't worry, though – Caesar may be a tough master, but he is fair, and will give you the chance to recover if you do fall far out of favor. Use the considerable information within the game to avoid this unfortunate outcome.
Caesar III is not a war game, although you might sometimes have to defend your city against Rome's enemies. It's not a historical reference or educational program, either. It is about building cities where people can live productive, happy lives, and having fun in the process. Caesar III gives you a strong feeling of what life might have been like in ancient Rome, but the game does sometimes depart from history. In some places, strict historical accuracy would have made the game complicated or restrictive. Wherever they faced such choices, Caesar III's designers emphasized simplicity and fun.

In-game information

Caesar III has lots of information built right into the game. When you are in doubt about anything, click on it with your mouse's right button ("right-click"). Almost everything displays a small panel showing important information when you right-click on it.
For more detailed help, click on the button in the panel's lower left corner. These detail panels often include a few words in red type. Click on red words to read related help entries. You can also choose Help from the menu bar at the top of your game screen to view the Table of Contents for in-game Help.

Getting started

After the game loads, a short movie depicting the rise of Rome plays, followed by credits and the Caesar III title screen. Click on it to proceed to the game set-up panel. Here, you choose whether to begin a new Career Game, load a previously saved game, play a City Construction Kit game or exit the program.

Your Career

The first two assignments are the same for all new governors. Each assignment in the Career Game has clear goals that you must achieve to earn a promotion and move on to the next province. At first, the Roman Empire is small, and your choices of cities to govern are slim. As the game goes on and the Empire grows (thanks, in part, to your own success), Caesar lets you choose among provinces to rule next. He usually lets you choose between a "peaceful" or a "dangerous" province. When you have such a choice, you'll see a map of the Empire showing the cities available. Click on each city for a brief description of its characteristics. When you've made your decision, click the "OK" button. Some cities might need you to focus on trade, others on industry; most blend the two. Some assignments might require you to rescue an existing city from a crisis. Some provinces are in dangerous areas. Every assignment is different. Remember, though, that Caesar wants you to succeed. He always makes his expectations clear, and gives you the resources you need to accomplish the task at hand.
You begin your career as a Citizen. As you successfully complete assignments, Caesar will promote you through the following ranks:
- Clerk
- Engineer
- Architect
- Decurion
- Apparitor
- Magistrate
- Quaestor
- Procurator
- Aedile
- Praetor
- Proconsul
- Consul
- Senator
- Caesar

City construction kit

Click this button if you'd rather forget about the Emperor and his assignments, and just build a city. All options from the Career Game are open to you, except for the career itself. There is no "winning" a Construction Kit game, apart from satisfying whatever goals you set yourself, but you can lose if you keep running out of money. Caesar is a reasonable ruler who will give you every opportunity to succeed, but his patience has limits. When he has to find more money for your city, Caesar lowers your Favor rating.
After choosing the Construction Kit, you see a map of the Roman Empire showing all its major cities. Click on any city for a description of its unique challenges and resources. When you decide which province to govern, click the "OK" button.

Losing the Game
Caesar III is simple to learn and play, but difficult to master. It is nevertheless possible to lose the game. Should you fall far out of favor with the Emperor, he will send an army to come and reclaim your city from you. Continual poor management of city funds could lead to just such a problem, so be careful! This applies to both individual assignments within your Career, and to the City Construction Kit.

For players of Caesar II

If you have played Caesar II, enough has changed in Caesar III that your old playing styles will need to change. While you will find much that is familiar, you should know about some of the more significant areas that have changed before you plunge right into the game:

- The "province level" and the "city level" have been combined into one larger map (though early assignments within the career are on fairly small maps). Should you encounter any barbarians or invaders, you will find that all combat now takes place on this same map, placing your city in considerable danger should your defenses fail.

- Unlike Caesar II, in Caesar III you designate areas for housing, rather than build housing directly. You must make your city attractive to immigrants if you expect people to move in, and every growing city needs plenty of new immigrants. Once people move in, they upgrade their housing of their own accord, should you provide a suitable environment.

- In most assignments (and almost always in the City Construction Kit) you need to provide food for your citizens. This should always be your top priority, since it is very hard to attract new immigrants into a city without food, and hunger can quickly turn your population to crime.

- Engineers are now needed to maintain your city's buildings. Build engineering posts to send out engineers on patrol. Buildings are liable to collapse if they don't receive regular maintenance.

- You will quickly see a large variety of people walking through your city. These all perform valuable tasks for your city, and you should think carefully about how and where you build roads. Whenever a road junction is reached, these little people must make a choice about which way to take; the fewer intersections you create, therefore, the more control you have over the routes your people will take.
Most services needed by houses are not "provided" simply if a building is nearby, as was the case with Caesar II. Instead, most buildings generate people, who need to walk past a house in order to offer that service to the house.

- Most buildings which employ people must have road access to reasonably close housing. If housing is too far away from a structure which seeks employees, even though there is road access and unemployment in the city, the building will not find any workers.

- The old “Empire rating” is gone, replaced by a Favor rating, which indicates Caesar's current opinion of you. Favor is important, since you will lose the game if it falls too low.

- Terrain has become an important consideration in city design, with higher land and waterside plots being more desirable. You will come across islands, and need to bridge water at times to achieve your objectives. And different types of land hold different resources, from fertile land to areas rich in clay or iron ore.

- Religion plays a larger role in citizens' lives. There are five gods to keep happy; ignore them at your peril.

- Entertainment, too, has changed: building a theater or amphitheater is not enough to please your people, as it did before. Build actor colonies, gladiator schools and more to provide performers for these otherwise-pretty (but dull) venues.
- Caesar is a more "hands-on" Emperor than he was in the old game, and will interact with you more often. He is worth looking after whenever you can.

- Finally, you won't hear the phrase "Plebs are needed!" any more. The computer automatically allocates your workforce to jobs. This is all that you need most of the time. When there is a shortage of employees, you can assign priorities to categories of workers, ensuring that whichever tasks matter most to your city get first claim on the available plebes.